HART 1108A Art and Classical Myth

This course examines the depiction of classical mythology in the visual arts. Following a general introduction to some of the principal classical myths represented in the visual arts and to the major theories of mythography (the study of myth), this course will focus on the production of mythological imagery in Western art, widely based on Ovid’s Metamorphoses, from antiquity to the present. Topics to be covered include mythological portraits, the female nude, the dynamics of metamorphosis, domestic paintings, and the relationship between poetry and painting (ut pictura poesis). Throughout the course, we will address the reinterpretation of myths during key revivals of Classical Antiquity (the Carolingian period, the Renascence of the twelfth century, the Renaissance and Neoclassicism), along with the artists’ visual and textual sources, and the various functions and categories of mythological imagery. We will look at a variety of media, including illuminated manuscripts, tapestries, sculptures, and prints. We will study individual artists who developed a particular interest in Classical myths, such as Titian, Poussin and Picasso, and we will end the course with an analysis of the resignification of myths in our contemporary visual culture.



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